What you are about to read is a detailed look at one of the ways in which the Codex process subverts not only national will and intent, but that of their populations. Over the years that we have attended Codex meetings for you, we have seen a great many of those techniques. And those are only the ones out in the open!
Few people get to attend a Codex meeting although the meetings are, theoretically, transparent and open. In fact, every week, somewhere in the world, there is likely to be a Codex meeting of one Committee or Task Force or Working Group taking place…
Only major players like the US, EU, Australia and China – and, of course, the interested industries – have the resources to do the necessary research and send the delegates to each of these meetings. Developing nations often can only attend a few meetings each year by depending on the largess of the Codex Trust Fund. Gen. Bert and I have twice been sitting with Codex delegates in their home countries on the day before their departure to attend a Codex meeting when they received word that their financial support had been canceled by the Trust Fund so they would not be attending the Codex meeting, after all. In other words, not behaving like a good serf gets a country punished by Codex.
Codex is a highly propagandized organization. What it wants you to believe it is, and what it wants you to believe it does, are presented very differently from what really it is.
See my report from Codex last year, Codex Propaganda:
My video reports from the just concluded Codex Committee on Food Labeling are here:
Yes, We believe that Codex is, at best, a cynical marketing tool for expensive, destructive and dangerous technologies and products and national trade agendas by the largest and most powerful nations. At its worst, it is a tool of global depopulation mandating under nutrition and instituting such high levels of devastating environmental toxicity that chronic, degenerative meetings for huge portions of the population are certain to result.
We believe that it fulfills both of those unwholesome functions, to the detriment of everyone on the planet.
Despite the enormous reluctance of Codex to acknowledge it (see discussion of GMO labeling by nations below!), Codex standards are voluntary. In fact, every country on the planet has the option of, and a good reason for, departing from these standards since they all weaken and sicken people when implemented. As Dr. Kirsten Leitner, WHO Under Secretary for Sustainable Development noted at CAC, 2005 (July, Rome, Italy), “Codex has not made a significant contribution to human well-being during its entire history”. But it certainly does have an impact on every human being – a potentially disastrous one.
Codex meetings are touted as being totally transparent and open. That openness is, however, rather mythical when:
1. As Brazil noted two years ago in Geneva at the CAC (Codex Alimentarius Commission, the central body of Codex) meeting, “If developing nations cannot afford to come to Codex although they are impacted by its decisions, is there any legitimacy to this process?”
2. Nations like the US and Canada deny entry visas to foreign delegates with opposing positions to those of the hosting countries (e.g., US denies visa to Chinese delegate when US supports use of ractopamine which China opposes it, Canada denies Ethiopian delegate admission to block his strong demand for GMO labeling while it opposes such labeling)
3. Natural Solutions Foundation, alone among all observers and participants, is met with armed guards at the Rome CAC and prevented from interacting with other participants in the meetings by those guards and discriminated against other ways
4. The Chairman of any Codex Committee lopsidedly applies a slippery, conveniently vague and consistently undefined sort of “consensus” to make sure that the results of the deliberations are exactly what the US wants. Consensus in Codex means that the Chair does what he wants to do once:
a. All national delegates have agreed on an item
b. All national delegates have had a chance to speak at least once on an item, whether they agree with it or not
c. Most national delegates agree on a particular item
d. The Chair decrees that consensus has been achieved, despite any degree of opposition from the floor.
To illustrate the profoundly corrupt and dangerous way that Codex operates, driven by the interests of the Multinational Corporations through their agent, the United States Government, I thought it might be instructive and interesting to present my near-verbatim notes on a Codex discussion of great significance to every single person in the world: the labeling of GMO foods and those ingredients derived from GMO sources.
• Almost every country in the world wants labeling to identify GMO foods and ingredients
• The US opposes this idea vigorously and has been trying to kill all labeling on a global basis for nearly twenty years
• The US wants to kill all Codex discussion of this idea so that there is no standard labeling possible and it can do what it likes to force its products on the rest of the world without consumer impediment or interference
• Working group sessions were convened in Oslo, Norway (2007) and again in Accra, Ghana (2008) to find areas of compromise on this issue
• US/Argentina/Canada/Mexico/Australia/New Zealand insist that all GMO foods are safe
• Codex labeling standards and guidelines can only be applied to foods which are known or presumed to be safe
At the Accra Working Group, a “chapeau” or introduction paragraph was proposed and amended by Brazil. This document is referred to as “Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil”:
The purpose of this document is to recall and assemble in a single document some important elements of guidance from Codex texts which are relevant for the labeling of foods obtained by GM/GE techniques. It also recognizes that each country can adopt different approaches regarding labeling of foods obtained by GM/GE techniques and that food labeling is the primary means of communications between the seller on the one hand and the purchaser and consumer on the one hand and the purchaser and consumer on the other hand.
The US proposed another Chapeau 2 which was quite different and which was rejected by the Accra meeting in favor of Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil. As you will see below, the continued distortion of the proceedings to bring back the US Chapeau 2 was one of the dominant themes of this session. Here is the text of the “US Chapeau 2” before it was amended by Brazil:
The purpose of this document is to recall and assemble in a single document some important elements from Codex labeling and other texts which are relevant for the labeling of foods obtained by GM/GE technologies as they are for all foods. This document is not intended to suggest or imply that GM/GE foods are in any way different from other foods simply due to their method of production.
Here, then, is the reality of a Codex deliberation. In it you will see the US and its toxic duckling, Argentina, distorting the Codex process to their own use and the Chairman, Canada’s Paul Mayers, Associate Vice President, Programs Policy and Programs Branch, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, delaying, distorting and miss-directing the outcome of the deliberation.
Yours in health and freedom,
Rima E. Laibow, MD
Natural Solutions Foundation
Please support our efforts by donating here: http://drrimatruthreports.com/?page_id=189
Labeling of Foods and Food Ingredients Obtained Through Certain Techniques of Genetic Modification/Genetic Engineering Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods: Definitions (at Step 7) (Agenda Item 6a)
Chair: I propose that these definitions be advanced to the CAC [at the meeting in Geneva, July, 2010 – REL] for adoption.
Draft Amendment to the General Standard for the Labeling of Prepackaged Foods: Definitions (at Step 7) (Agenda Item 6b)
Japan: In [the relevant section] of the General Standard for Prepackaged Food, any food obtained by Biotechnology is the same as a genetically modified organism (GMO), so to ensure consistent use of the term in the revised draft, “Food and food ingredients obtained by biotechnology” means food and food ingredients obtained by or containing genetic engineering obtain modern biotechnology”. Modern Biotechnology means “means genetic material has been changed through modern biotechnology”
Malaysia: Malaysia supports the original text of Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil at the Ghana Working Group with Japan’s changes. [Malaysia supports mandatory labeling of GMO foods and ingredients – REL]
EU: We support the suggestion to advance Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil with Japan’s changes to CAC for ratification. [EU supports mandatory labeling of GMO foods and ingredients – REL]
Norway: Norway supports forwarding Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil to CAC for ratification by the commission. We think that Japanese changes are good. [Norway supports mandatory labeling of GMO foods and ingredients – REL]
Argentina: Argentina believes that these definitions should be left on the side [i.e., not carried forward to CAC – REL] because these definitions were created in a framework that no longer exits and because modern definitions exist from the Codex Biotechnology Committee.
[Argentina is a major GMO grower and holds the position that GMO foods are automatically safe and must not be distinguished in any way from unmodified food, echoing the US position – REL]
BIO [Biotechnology Industrial Organization]: We support Argentina in its statement. These definitions have already been defined by the Codex ad hoc Committee on Biotechnology. These definitions are already stated by Codex and do not need to be restated. [BIO is the industry organization of the biotech industry and supports the position of the US and Argentina that no labeling is required and that all GMO foods are, by definition, equivalent to non modified foods and are necessarily safe, despite total lack of meaningful testing in the US – REL]
US: We note with Argentina that the reference document has been forwarded to the CAC so any further definition or work on this document is not relevant.
We do not think that it is appropriate to forward a text without definitions. IF there are to be definitions, it should be returned to Step #3 [Step 3 is a very early step in the approval process. The document under discussion was presented to this CCFL meeting at Step 7, the step from which texts are referred to CAC for ratification – REL]
Consumer’s International: We have strongly supported mandatory labeling of GMO food for the past 20 years. We support moving Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil forward and support the changes suggested by Japan. Because there is mention of biotechnology (re: allergy) in the General Standard on Prepackaged Foods and elsewhere in other Codex texts, there is reference to allergies and we support these definitions as modified by Japan.
Norway: We think it is time to move forward with modifications of Japan [That is, to adopt the Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil and modified by Japan – REL].
Costa Rica: Costa Rica shares the views of Argentina. This has been discussed for quite some time and it is high time that the CCFL earmark its resources elsewhere, such as to the implementation of the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health (Global Strategy). [The Global Strategy was presented to Codex for the CCNFSDU and CCFL to implement on July 1, 2005. Both committees appeared to demonstrate significant reluctance to seriously considering the 13 points of that document over the next several years but have begun to address methods in which they might do so in the last few years –REL] Considering these issues further here is a waste of scarce resources that could be better applied elsewhere.
Where we need to consider genetically modified organisms, we will follow other organizations’ definitions and do not need to define these terms here. [Although Costa Rica is a major grower of organic food, it is a strong proponent of US positions at Codex – REL]
Brazil: We suggest that these definitions be moved to Step 8 [by presenting them to the CAC for ratification – REL] and agree with Japan in their modifications.
Kenya: Kenya supports Brazil’s suggestion to move this text to Step 8 with the comments of Japan included.
Observer Organization: We express support for the position of both the EU and Consumer’s International. They reflect our comments as well.
[Country Not Clearly Identified – REL]: We express our support for moving Chapeau 2 with the modifications of Brazil to Step 8 with the Japanese comments included.
Canada: We note that section 4.2.2 relates to presence of specific allergies in food or food allergy in foods derived from Biotechnology and there is already a common understanding. If there is a discussion, Canada believes that we should focus on food safety issues. [Lethal and life-threatening allergies have increased substantially in every country where GMO foods have been introduced although the US, Argentina and other GMO supporters maintain that by definition GMO foods are safe or they would not be on the market and that since they are on the market, they are therefore safe. None of this deals with the reality of either the lack of safety testing, which the FDA is barred from conducting or examining, or the fact that all independent science shows significant dangers in GMOs – REL]
Mexico: Mexico supports the position that we have already dealt with this issue at the Ad Hoc Committee on Biotechnology and therefore it is not relevant or appropriate to deal with it further here at this time. [Here Mexico is offering a rationale for dropping the entire discussion. Mexico is a strong supporter of US policy on GMOs – REL]
Philippines: The Philippines does not support any amendment of the General Standards on Prepackaged Foods concerning Biotechnology. [The impact of this approach would be to end any further discussion on GMO labeling – REL]
Chair: It is obvious that there continues to be a divergence of view. That said, I note that proposals which have been made by Japan, and supported by several delegations, to amend the text. The option is available to the committee to consider the modifications to the text proposed by Japan even thought the advancement of the text [to CAC for ratification – REL] remains an open consideration. [Before the Chairman said that the advancement of the text remains an open consideration, it was not an open consideration. The purpose of this Chapeau and its modifications was to define the issue for he document that would follow. The Chair apparently unilaterally decided to delay its ratification by declaring its lack of advancement to CAC “an open consideration.” –REL]
You will have seen the proposal by Japan as noted. I would also propose taking into consideration the points raised by Canada and the absence of a specific document to which these apply, [This is a specious argument since it was quite clear that Chapeau 1 as amended by Brazil and modified by Japan applies to a document whose purpose was clearly stated: to pull together already adopted Codex texts to provide guidance on labeling of GM/GE foods – REL] that it may also be useful to consider an adjustment to the chapeau text to this section which, rather than characterizing these definitions as relating to the general standard in general, would relate specifically for the purposes of 4.2.2 of the General Standard, which is the only place in the general standard where the term “biotechnology” is found. [I do not believe this is accurate: CCNFSDU adopted the Report on Biotechnology from the Ad Hoc Working Group on Foods Derived from Biotechnology” which includes Annex III, stating that plants modified to produce nutrients may or may produce the same molecules as the unmodified plants and that large scale human studies would be needed to carry out the necessary research to determine if they are, indeed, nutrients or anti-nutrients. Unlabeled products would make that determination impossible since there would be no way to determine who had, and who had not, taken the GMO vitamins and herbs – REL]
It may be possible to take up the proposals made by Japan [i.e., the changes to Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil and modified by Japan –REL] and it is well to consider changing the chapeau so that it would read “for the purpose of 4.2.2.” so that the changes proposed by Japan would now be defined by 4.2.2 which makes reference to biotechnology. I would propose amending the chapeau and amending the text. I submit that for your consideration without prejudice to the disposition of the document itself. [I cannot see any reason for the Chair to make this suggestion except to bring the text closer to the intention of the US whose Chapeau 2 was rejected by the delegates attending the Accra meeting in 2008 – REL]
In consultation here I am amending my proposal to integrate the references to section 4.2.2 into the text so that it facilitates the way it is laid out. [Here the Chair is attempting to ignore the strong consensus of the majority of delegations in support of ratification of Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil and altered by Japan and limit the application of the chapeau to a narrow use in the document referenced. I note that this violates the sense of the document, its intended use and the sense of the CCFL – REL]
Argentina: This text would include the world of 4.2.2. I have a problem which deals with substance which deals with 4.2.2 which for years have been included. Given the fact that Japan chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Biotechnology, perhaps Japan can help with this. No biotechnologist will introduce an allergenic gene because that would be unreasonable. No product of technology is ever going to be allergenic. [This is, in my opinion, one of the most absurd statement we have ever heard coming out of a Codex delegate’s mouth. The absurdity is, to me, literally breath-taking because it is wrong simultaneously on so many levels, flies so strongly in the reality of both science and physiology and is so outstandingly presumptuous. I fear this demonstrates well the absurdity of “GMOs are safe because we say they are” position which independent science is showing to be so dangerously incorrect – REL]
I get the impression that because of demonizing biotechnology we are including things that make no sense. [Whereas I get the impression that because of irrationally supporting biotechnology we are including things that make no sense – REL]
Perhaps Japan could clarify this since they took the lead on this issue. No biotechnology product could be allergenic [Emphasis added] [Note that lethal allergies are a well known and widely acknowledged consequence of GM/GE foods – REL].
Chair: If Japan wants to deal with this I will open the floor. But I would note that the Risk Analysis texts have a specific area of allergenic genes. [Chair just refuted Argentina’s absurd statements – REL]
EU: In a spirit of compromise we can accept the proposal of Japan. What we cannot accept is just to limit the field of application just to 4.2.2. [As proposed by Argentina. This limitation would make the text essentially meaningless – REL]
So we are ready to accept the comments of Japan, but just not limited to 4.2.2
US: We note that with the Chair’s proposal, we still have definitions to documents which do not exist. We appreciate Canada’s remark. [The thrust here is to make sure that the definition and the document disappear. This is the game of now you see it, now you wonder if it ever existed parliamentary slight of hand which is frequently played by the US more, in our experience, than by any other Codex player –REL]
Our suggestion is that where “biotechnology” is referenced in 4.2.2 we add a foot note, “for the purpose of section 4.2.2, biotechnology includes modern biotechnology which is defined in section 2 of the Principles for risk analysis for foods derived from modern biotechnology, CAC/GL44-2003” [This would limit the usefulness of this document to such a narrow range that it would cease to be toxic from the point of the US because it further damage the idea that nations have the authority to set their own GM/GE standards – REL]
We feel that this defines the concept and references where we know that a definition has been approved by the commission.
Chair: We will continue
Malaysia: We support the EU proposal, and Japanese, but do not support restriction just to 4.2.2 [as supported by Argentina, Canada and the US – REL]. We have religious and cultural issues concerning GM/GE foods and feel that consumers should have a clear indication of what the modifications are [This is one of the objections to unlabeled GM/GE foods raised by South Africa country at the 2009 CCFL meeting in Ottawa in the document which was submitted but then recalled when the US called the Minister of Health in that country and demanded that the country, a sovereign nation, change its position to suit the US. Although the paper was rescinded by the African nation, this position paper has circulated around the world, giving shape to the well-founded notion that texts already ratified by Codex make it absolutely necessary to label GM/GE foods as a matter of consumer protection – REL http://www.prweb.com/releases/GM_Labeling/Codex/prweb909004.htm, See Attached File: CRD 21]
Brazil: We support the EU’s position [that all GM/GE foods must be clearly labeled ], but with the US proposal, which came afterward, we will have to assess this.
France: Mr. Chairman, you will not be surprised to learn that I support the position of the EU and that this limitation is not acceptable. [That is, the idea that this document only has relevance within the very limited scope of 4.2.2 is unacceptable – REL]
Mr. Chairman, I was looking through the guidelines and it seems that one of the ways to solve problems is labeling. Even if we just limited it [i.e., the labeling issue] to health and security, it would be far too limiting. It is not acceptable to limit ourselves.
Germany: I have read and understood the position of the US, bringing in line the definition here with the definition in the document of the [biotech] task force, but it is important to note that it is by far too restrictive to have the biotech definition only attached to 4.2.2, we have not even addressed the other biotech issues in this meeting and we should therefore keep it open for the other purposes that we need the definition of biotech. We will need it for the discussion of biotech labeling options and we will need it later.
There might be a reason to label for safety purposes, but the primary reason is to give information to consumers, so it is by far too early to limit the definition in this way.
Chair: It is clear that there is not at this point support to include the reference to the section 4.2.2 in the proposal that I made.
The US has made an alternate proposal for the inclusion of a footnote in 4.2.2. Taking into account what I have heard, it might be useful to include a footnote in 4.2.2, but to delete from the US proposal the phrase, “for the purpose of section 4.2.2” [The Chair is trying everything he can think of to maneuver the US position into the Committee as the final outcome despite the fact that there is no consensus support for this idea. This is an example of the corrupt practices at Codex meetings – REL]
This would have the effect that a definition might not be required, but it would not preclude the use of this definition in 4.2.2. [Note that this is NOT the sense of the members of the CCFL, but the Chair is bringing it forward nevertheless – REL] We would be taking into account the diversity of views expressed, taking advantage of work already done by the [biotech] task force by referencing that work in the general standard.
Spain: I wanted to support the last proposal made by the EU and I wanted to point out that it does not seem quite right to me to discuss risk assessment when talking about biotech because we have all agreed that biotech products are safe and we have tried to avoid all references to danger. [Emphasis added] [This is one of the most dangerous presumptions in Codex. It needs to be challenged on the basis of new scientific information. Virtually every Codex delegate to whom we have spoken believes that GM/GE food has been tested for safety by the US while, in fact, the FDA is prevented from conducting or examining ANY safety data on GM/GE organisms after a company-generated preliminary safety analysis by the patent holder. However, every independent scientific analysis shows the dangers of GM/GE organisms from a different direction. Any already established Codex principle, standard or guideline can be reopened on the basis of new scientific information. This is an important forward move that we hope nations will take – REL] I think that a foot note pointing to risk analysis points to danger and it would be more subtle if we find a more neutral definition so as not to ring alarm bells for consumers.
Chair: The text referred to is to an already adopted text, the construction presented only draws attention to an existing consideration in that text.
Argentina: We could accept the proposal presented by the US and, taking up the concern of Spain to not demonize these products, perhaps we could eliminate the title and just use the acronym. We agree that we could provide the idea that GMOs do not cause any danger. [Emphasis added] [Note: Argentina is setting up a way to hide the real meaning of this document, changing the name to make it likely that people reading the document will miss the fact that it pertains to GM/GE foods altogether –REL]
Chair: I have no problem with referencing this by its number [rather than its name –REL], but I am ambivalent.
Italy: Mr. Chairman, we are convinced by your desire to reach a compromise, but there is really no difference between what you are proposing and what the US is proposing because it involves a foot note and is exactly the same thing. [Emphasis added] [This is a clear demonstration of the abuse of the power granted to the chair. Unfortunately, it is not an isolated event. Here the consensus of the group is put aside to insert the wishes of the US and its followers who are, in this case, a clear minority – REL]
We support the EU position on this issue. [Which is for clear, mandated labeling of GM/GE derived foods – REL]
Chair: When we remove Section 4.2.2, clearly that is the first appearance of the word. Should the committee wish to refer to it at some future time, the footnote would pertain. [The Chair is still distorting the process to serve the interests of the US and its multinational constituency –REL]
Australia: For the purpose of what has been put up before us, we think it is a clear, practical, pragmatic approach and we strongly support it. [Australia is part of the duckling pack of the US and, as always, strongly supports whatever the US wants. In this case, they want to bury the definitions and statements that the US does not like – REL]
EU: I was looking at section 2 on General Guideline for packaged foods. We repeat them there. Why are we trying to hide something when we have a section called “definition”. [Emphasis added] What has happened to the other definitions? I propose that we keep these definitions at Step 7 as proposed by Japan.
Chair: This footnote would negate the need for subordinate definitions which are included in the definition. So through incorporation by reference, we would take up all the definitions applied by the Risk Analysis principles. [The sense of the CCFL is NOT to add this footnote, but the US wants it and so the Chair is pushing in as many ways as he can find to get it inserted in place of what the consensus wants – REL]
If we cannot agree to either of these proposals, then the only area where it appears that we have consensus is to amend the text of our original section 2 definitions of the terms to incorporate the amendments proposed by Japan. [Since it is the sense of the CCFL to do that, why is the Chair so reluctant to do just that IF he is, as he constantly proclaims, guided solely by the will of the Committee? – REL] There is no consensus to advance that amended text to the CAC. [On the contrary, that is exactly what the consensus is for, although the Chair is having precisely none of it! –REL] With the amendment, the committee can continue to hold the text at Step 7 since there is no consensus to forward the text to the CAC for adoption. [Not only was the discussion corrupted by a pre-determined outcome, the forward movement of this item has been derailed – REL]
Norway: We believe that Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil and modified by Japan should be kept at Step 7 and we support EU in its opinion to label GM/GE foods.
We note that we have not dealt with 6B and we believe that it is very good to have these definitions open.
US: We are seeking clarification: we have a Step 7 document and the committee is still considering amendment. We know that it is not consistent with our practices. Shouldn’t we return it to an earlier step? [This is an excellent example of the masterful way in which the US uses its knowledge of the Codex principles and practices to manipulate the situation to get what it wants. Here the process of consensus has been intentionally subverted, yet the US continues to act as if its interventions are completely legitimate and consensus-based – REL]
Chair: The only reason [to advance the text ] was that the comments of Japan seemed to enjoy wide support. We are not at a point where the committee is ready to advance it, but the text that we have does not appear to require further deliberation, once we have the amendments proposed by Japan. [This makes no sense to me: if there is widespread approval, why would the committee NOT advance it? – REL]
Argentina: Thanks, Chairman, really what I am not clear on is whether the proposal of Japan has received a wide consensus, so I really believe that we agree that the definitions are those of the task force, but we really have not understood how they should be completed
Chair: I view the proposal of Japan largely as alignment. If this were an adopted text, those amendments would move forward as commentary. Step 7 text can still be examined. IF it is the will of the community, we can return the document at Step 6 so that it can be circulated for wider comment.
Brazil: We agree with you that the proposal made by Japan was to align the text. I do not agree that it should return to Step 6. It can stay at Step 7 without the square bracket. [Square brackets mean that the text within is open for discussion, deletion or other destruction – REL]
Chair: We will not pursue the foot note approach. [The Chair’s efforts to force the US position on this issue upon the committee has failed – REL]
US: Our understanding of the Japanese proposal was to align it to the General Standard, not to make it consistent. Therefore, we do not support the Japanese amendment so we think that returning it to an earlier step could give us time to comment on the general definition.
Chair: I propose that we amend the document to Step 6 and circulate it for general comment in our next letter. [This document has strong support among the delegations so there is no reason to return it to an earlier Step except for the apparent commitment of the Chair to the US position. I have written many times that the US is the dominant force in Codex’s bad decisions. This proceeding is an example of one way that this force operates – REL]
Chair: So we will append the text as amended by Japan to the report and ask for your comments for consideration at our next session.
BIO: I would reiterate once again that concerning these definitions, it is very important that they are consistent with what came out of the Biotechnology Task Force and trying to move inconsistent definitions forward would be a futile effort because CAC will send them back. If we need to go forward, we know that they need to be consistent with what has already gone forward in Codex. [BIO does not want the familiar terms “GM/GE” or “GMOs” to be used. They are intent on using a more neutral term to mask the real nature of the discussion and documents from those who read the report, use it or consume foods – REL]
Chair: Referring to Item 6B, you will well recall that there were a number of proposals that were under consideration in our last section.
I notice a diversity of opinion around the disposition of the document itself. I point out to you that the CAC has pointed out the importance of this committee completing its work as originally forecast by 2011 and invite your approach to the document since that is necessary before we focus on section by section of the document itself. [When Codex was created in the early 1960s, it was hoped that its work would be completed by December 31, 2009. It has fallen far behind that deadline. Here the Chair refers to a new date for the completion of this committee’s work recently set by the CAC – REL]
Switzerland: After reading these documents, we still feel that it is possible to come to consensus. [Switzerland is alluding to the continuing demand by the US and its fellow-GMO growing countries that the debate on labeling GM/GE foods be dropped – REL] There is no question that clear labeling is important to consumers. Consumers would be misled by missing this information. They would be misled by not allowing them to make informed choices. [Emphasis added] Therefore Switzerland supports labeling of food derived from GM/GE through modern biotechnology.
Nigeria: You wanted general comments first before getting to the text. Is it possible to take both at the same time? You say that there is a desire to complete work before 2011. My delegation would like to make some comments.
We have been working on this meeting for some time. Work intensified after Ghana meeting. There is a preponderance of opinion that Codex should provide guidance on this issue. [Emphasis added]
There were some remarks that this guidance is not just for developing nations. That is wrong. The whole world needs guidance. The issue affects all of us. It is very important to have a document in current texts so we are dealing with an area that is not unknown to us. [Emphasis added]
I will take up proposals later. My delegation would hope that the manner in which committee has been working on this proposal, we will continue to work on this area.
Norway: The work on developing product recommendations for developing labeling should be continued. Already existing text is not sufficient for all uses. It will be really a pity to give up this work after 15-20 years. We have received consensus on risk analysis and CCMAS for identification. Now we should continue on this topic for labeling.
Kenya: We want to go to the specific text itself.
Argentina: To be short, we do not believe that there has been consensus over the years and this is not necessary to continue. [Here Argentina is pushing to drop the entire effort to create a labeling standard or guideline on GM/GE foods – REL]
Ghana: In Ghana, as in most of Africa, we have begun the process of developing our own regulations. At this point we are not talking about [a Codex decision on whether we must have] mandatory or voluntary labeling. What we need is guidance. At this point, the problem is lack of disclosure which will breed mistrust. [Emphasis added]
Ghana will be willing to work with any other delegation to develop guidelines. Brazil’s paper is useful but still does not provide guidelines.
Chair: It would appear that there is interest in continuing the work. We should recognize that the committee continues to be interested in working to elaborate the text and on that basis we should shift our attention to that text.
Brazil: We are of the opinion that CCFL should pursue its work on the guidelines of labeling for GM/GE and to find some alternate solutions for the document.
Argentina: This is one of the classic cases where there are certain subjects where we cannot come to a consensus at the global level. We do not believe that there is a consensus. We are proud that we are a spearhead of GMO agriculture and development. Many countries have learned many things but if there is no consensus, I do not see why we should continue.
EU: The 27 countries of the EU and its 500M people believe that GM must be labeled. GM foods have been clearly identified as being different because we held a commission on GM/GE Risk Analysis. [Emphasis added]
We are doing a 5-year assessment on this topic and any guidance given by Codex will be very helpful.
We have two objectives:
1. Give guidelines for countries that want to draft guidelines
2. Recognize that there are many different ways of labeling as pointed out by [the Working Group in] Oslo. This is probably our last chance to find consensus [on this issue]. [Emphasis added]
US: We think that this work should be discontinued or suspended. There are fundamental differences in the way countries approach this. With those differences, there is no way to find consensus when there is such a difference in approaches.
We are also concerned based on the preliminary comments that there may not even be agreement on the nature of the work. We have heard reference to guidelines, to texts, there has been concern expressed about CCFL failing to meet its goals.
We think that it is very powerful to be able to know when to suspend or discontinue work. CCFL has done that before. I think that the work at this session indicates that when we have a basis for consensus we can be successful. We believe that we should discontinue this work.
Chair: There still is in this committee not a support to discontinue work. We will therefore shift to focus on the text itself. I would start the consideration of the specific parts of the text.
Kenya: Having looked at the document and considering that we have found a consensus in Ghana in 2008, we would like to support Chapeau 2 as submitted by Brazil because we consider that it captures the intent of this document.
…Kenya does not want to finish on time and is arguing with the Chair on time control for his remarks. [The Chair cuts Kenya off and will not allow him to finish.]
Kenya insists that he wants to make another point: Chair does not allow him
Singapore: There are 3 texts on the table: an amendment to Chapeau 2 by US, an amendment to Chapeau 2 by Brazil and Chapeau 1. After the 2008 Ghana meeting, the sense of the meeting was that Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil found wide spread support in the committee. The test is general in Chapeau 2 and tries to meet the concerns of as may colleagues as possible.
The US is concerned that the formulation should not suggest or imply that GM foods are not different from any other foods because of method of production. [Emphasis added] The idea is not to deal with that particular area. If it helps the US we could add the word “only” to make it, “the purpose of this document is only to recall….” so that the document is not intended to suggest that the document is no different from any other foods.
We have raised this with the US.
Fiji: We support the work that has been done. The information [provided by the labeling guidance] will be very useful to the people.
Cameroon: We would like to support Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil and, in addition, as recommendations done by EU in Accra and Oslo, those decisions should be implemented.
Dominican Republic: We would like to say that we agree in work continuing regarding GM or GE foods for reasons stated here and because we have been discussing for a long time and no consensus has been arrived at, we would like to be clear that we are not looking to have GE foods being bad. A major problem at the world level has been resolved. We do understand that if these information’s are omitted, we are deceiving the consumer. If we are omitting them [we are stifling science], this is like any other science which is continually emerging. GM/GE foods have to be labeled just like organic foods which have to be revealed. [Emphasis added]
Mexico: We would like to point out that there seems to be a reservation on our part because we understand that there is no consensus so we feel at unilaterally and bilaterally we have to adopt our own guidelines. We would feel to discontinue the work.
Chair: This is the time we would have taken the [morning coffee] break but we will dispense with the break, we will continue the debate.
Brazil: I would like to support Mexico’s comment and since there has been no consensus over many years of debate, we support dropping this draft. [This represents and abrupt change of position for Brazil. It would be instructive to learn what inducements have been offered to Mexico, presumably by the US, to cause this shift in position – REL]
Mali: Here we started a subject which has seen a lot of ink and I think it will [that is, it should] continue. We are convinced that Codex must make recommendations on labeling. The fact that they [GM/GE foods] are not labeled is wrong and we support Chapeau 2 A amended by Brazil.
Ghana: we strongly support Brazil [in its prior position of having Codex make recommendations for labeling of GM/GE foods. – REL]
Malaysia: We have always supported mandatory labeling for food made from, or containing GM/GE [Emphasis added] and we believe that chapeau 1 clearly states this. Malaysia feels that Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil provides a very important text [which we support].
Republic of Korea: We support Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil. We believe that the labeling of food from GM/GE can provide consumers and governments with clear information. [Emphasis added]
Norway: We support Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil. Existing Codex text is not sufficient. The proposed US text omits consumers rational right or wish to know. Irradiated, organic and other food is labeled. This should pertain to GM/GE food. [Emphasis added]
Country Not Clearly Identified: We were ready to support Chapeau 1 but now can support Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil.
US: The US appreciates the suggestion by Singapore for modification of Chapeau 2, but we think that it is essential that document state that GM/GE foods are not different from other foods. We are not sure about the idea that each country can adopt different approaches, but why do we need to have that in a chapeau. [Emphasis added] We do not see that this is needed in this document.
Japan: We understand that this document is not intended to suggest that GM/GE foods are not different but that it is essential to identify them. On the other hand, many GM plants have different features from non-GM plants, so we should make sure that this is labeled clearly. [Emphasis added]
Morocco: We are favorable to Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil.
Canada: Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil states that countries can adopt different approaches which is not consistent with Codex approaches.
We would suggest an amendment which says that “the purpose of this document is to recall and assemble in a single document some important elements of guidance from Codex documents which are relevant for labeling all foods including those obtained by GM/GE techniques”.
Argentina: Argentina was going to intervene along the same lines as Canada. We really believe that at this stage we could find a compromise which would give us some idea of the work that has been done by Ghana, US and Argentina and Nigeria. We feel that it is not right that Codex, an international standard, says that governments can do what they want. [This is a critically important reality which Argentina has just stated. Although Codex texts are mandatory, the imposition of enormous trade sanctions by the WTO is used to eliminate the right of every nation to control its food supply. We at the Natural Solutions Foundation believe that it is because globalist domination and degradation of food on a world-wide basis is the goal. Argentina makes that point clearly here, followed by the US and its allies – REL] We should be putting agreements into texts, not disagreements.
South Africa: We note the fundamental differences; we have viewed Chapeau 2 to be consistent with our existing legislation. The last sentence of Para 1 has been added. We are always guided at the national level and help, [so] that whatever comes through this discussion will clarify and help us.
Germany: We are jumping to [i.e., focusing on] the Canadian proposal [in our discussion here]. We are strongly in support of Chapeau 2 amended by Brazil. We have a mandate here which is reflected by label of 6B concerning recommendations for labeling of foods.
Canada’s proposal is not addressing the GM/GE food labeling. We do not need something that addresses all foods, it is GM/GE foods [that are under consideration here]. We would like to have a comprehensive labeling guidance and we accept the right of consumers to know the method of production [of the food they are buying and eating] and we want consumers to make an informed choice. We have organic, halal, irradiation, [and other types of special production] labeling. We already have process-related labeling and that is what we should address here and if we do not find the specificity, at least we need a clear identification of the fact that different approaches are possible. We agree with the US that this is a powerful statement. The title of the document tells us what we should be focusing on: labeling of foods derived from GM/GE technology.
Chair: If I could clarify, I would not put too much weight on the title of the document since that can be changed. We are not guided too much by the title.
Italy: Canada’s proposal quite clearly does not help us toward achieving a solution to the problem. We believe that Brazil’s proposal has the support of the delegates. There is no item which can achieve consensus.
We really have to think if we really will have a consensus. In our opinion, a consensus is an opinion reached by a majority of countries around the world. Many countries have tried to have their own guidelines outside of Codex.
I think that we cannot consider a consensus to be minimal expressions of opinion. [Here Italy is saying that if a few countries, such as US, Argentina and Canada, do not agree with the majority, that is, nonetheless, a consensus and should allow Codex to move forward – REL]
Ghana: I also would like to react to the Canadian proposal: the document [under consideration] is specific to GM/GE foods, not to addressing all foods.
France: Thank you Canada, but for us the exercise of dilution [in your proposal to make the document refer to all foods] is not acceptable. The objective of our work is to really define labeling for GM/GE foods and that is why we have a preference for Chapeau 2 as modified by Brazil. The fact that we have a difference does not undermine our mission.
One of our Codex objectives is to promote real information to the consumer.
What is coming out is that we wish to hide real information from the consumer. [Emphasis added]
Kenya: We are back to Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil, not Canada. We are setting our own [national] standards and guidelines. They are almost finalized. With Codex having taken a consensus in GM/GE Risk Analysis and CCMAS: that is a clear indication that GM/GE foods are different and cannot just be labeled as if they were other foods. It is essential that we go forward and have a clear document [to label GM/GE foods clearly].
Chair: I would propose that Chapeau 2 as amended by Brazil be the chapeau [which is] incorporated into the text. Within the context of that chapeau, there were 3 proposals:
1 Insert word “only” so it reads, “the purpose of this document is only to recall…”
2. Delete all text following “GM/GE”.
3. Include the final sentence from the chapeau 2 as amended by the US: “This document is not intended to suggest or imply that GM/GE foods are in any way different from other foods simply due to their method of production.”
In focusing on the current proposed chapeau text, there are some amendments to consider. [Let us have a] discussion of changes
Brazil: We agree with proposal made by Singapore and can also accept the inclusion of the square brackets in the last sentence. In so far as the change of the US, we will try to provide a draft adjustment. “This document does not suggest that GM/GE foods are necessarily different from other foods”
EU: Insofar as the first proposal made by Singapore, we can accept it, but we would eliminate the square brackets and can accept Brazil’s proposal which implies that GM/GE foods are not necessarily in any way different from foods which are not derived from GM/GE technologies.
Chair: This is a general text relevant to food labeling. I did take note of the comments of several delegates that the text should be focused, not general. If it facilitates us moving to compromise, we would be interested. [Note that the chair has unilaterally accepted the idea that the document is relevant to all food labeling while the consensus of the group is that it is, in fact, NOT relevant to all food labeling, but to GM/GE labeling specifically. The power of the Chair is once again being used to further a predetermined agenda – REL]
Argentina: We propose the deletion of the sentence that Codex recognizes that they may have different focuses and we do not think that this should be part of the work of Codex. As far as the US proposal, we can accept it. If we are speaking of pre packaged foods and have taken it out of Codex texts, the 3rd sentence that points out that food labeling is that the principle communication is OK.
Chair: if we accept your proposal, Argentina, it would have the effect of returning it to the form proposed by the US and that is not what the committee wants. [It is, of course, what Argentina, as an agent of the US wants – REL]
US: The history of this document is that it refers to existing Codex texts: the document started as a summary so it does pertain to all foods.
Rather than being used as a refer to all Codex texts, it is being used as a justification for countries having their own labeling. It just refers to what we already know from other texts. We propose to eliminate “in any way” form the last sentence.
Consumer’s International: We have always supported mandatory labeling for over 20 years. We are a global network of 220 organizations.
In the spirit of compromise we can live with the chapeau as amended by Brazil. We do not agree with the final sentence as proposed by US. There is a clear difference between regular foods and GM/GE foods. Patents indicate that the food is new, unique or different. The Risk Analysis and Task Force on Biotech and CCMASS make it clear that the foods are different.
Chair: The plant may be different, but the Codex documents do not conclude that the final food is different. [This makes it clear that Codex documents and reality diverge whenever it is convenient for them to diverge. This is another indication of the deep corruption of the Codex system. – REL]
Malaysia: We can support this proposal but we are not agreeable to the last sentence [that states that there is no difference between modified and unmodified foods.]
Observer Organization: We have been waiting to speak for such a long time and did not to get our opportunity to continue the work.
We agree with Consumer’s International, and do not agree with the last sentence. We do not agree with you, Mr. Chairman, that there is no difference between GM/GE and regular foods, or why are we here? We would just have a meeting on all food, not GM/GE foods.
Even though we have delegations here agreeing with the work, the citizens of their countries disagree with their delegations. The population groups by a vast majority support the continuation of this work and the labeling of GM/GE foods. [Emphasis added]
Chair: For those delegations which may not be familiar, I provide two rounds of member country comments before observer organizations.
International Committee of Grocery Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA): we originally flagged in to support the Canadian version: we believe it is very inappropriate to allude to national standards in any Codex test. It brings into question the credibility of Codex as an international standard setting body.
Chair: I do note that many Codex texts make reference to a difference in national approaches, including a document we worked on earlier today.
ICGMA: ICGMA supports the last sentence [which says there is no difference between GM/GE and other foods]. Those foods are no different than other foods due to their method of production.
IACFA: We have actively supported mandatory labeling of GM/GM foods for many years. We can support the word “only” but do not feel that there is adequate scientific justification to support the sentence which states that there is no difference between GM/GE and other foods. It gives an implication of no risk to GM/GE foods so we reject that sentence.
Chair: Based on the range of interventions [the Chair proposes the following text: “The purpose of this document is only to recall and assemble in a single document some important elements of guidance from Codex tests which are relevant for the labeling of foods obtained by GM/GE techniques. It also recognizes that each country can adopt different approaches regarding labeling of foods obtained by GM/GE techniques. This text is not intended to suggest or imply that Gm/GE foods are necessarily different from other foods simply due to their method of production.”
[The Chair defends his suggestion at length.]
Argentina: Argentina recognizes that you have deployed to arrive at a consensus. We must point out that there are a number of countries in opposition to the second sentence. Our major concern is that Codex is an international body which must recognize that fact.
We suggest that the second sentence could be slightly amended and be put in as a footnote. We want to eliminate the part that says it recognizes that it recognizes that countries can take different approaches and put in as a footnote that there are different approaches to GM/GE labeling. This acknowledges that there are different approaches, but it does not say, “EACH COUNTRY MAY DO….”
BIO: Argentina’s suggestion is one we can support. To keep it consistent with other texts, we not refer to GM/GE but should replace it with “foods derived from modern biotechnology”.
EU: For us and for 40 member states present here, the second sentence [which says that countries have different approaches to labeling] is essential. As long as the principles are respected, members of Codex can find different ways. We cannot accept Argentina’s proposal.
We have some problems with the last sentence. We would be able to accept your suggestion, Chair, on condition that we do NOT touch the second sentence.
Observer Organization: We agree with the EU’s suggestions. We think that the Argentinean suggestion complicates the text.
We remind the committee of the secretariat’s comment disfavoring footnotes.
Switzerland: Chair, I thank you very much for the compromise and we can let the text like it is.
Norway: We support the text as it is.
Nigeria: We appreciate the effort of the chairman at finding a common position, therefore we support the proposal as set forward so we can move forward.
Morocco: We would like to point out Morocco supports the EU position and supports maintaining text as it is.
Kenya: In the spirit of compromise I support the text.
US: We appreciate the work of the secretariat to help us find a compromise. We agree that the second sentence could be used as a footnote. We hope that this entire chapeau remains in brackets because we feel that the entire thing should be in brackets [subject to further comment and revision – REL].
Ghana: I would just like to point out that we are working on a recommendation document. It is just a document making recommendations and as was said in Oslo and Accra we reached this point as a result of different approaches so we want to support the text as it is.
Brazil: we support the EU to maintain the text as is.
Costa Rica: Costa Rica supports Argentinean position and the US position and we support the fact that the paragraph should remain in brackets.
Cameroon: we support the proposal of the EU: The text should be maintained as it is.
Mexico: we thank the Chair for all his efforts, however, we suggest that the text be maintained in brackets.
ICGMA: We support Argentina’s constructive suggestion. We also support the points made by BIO and would support leaving the text in square brackets.
Chair: We now have two alternating suggestions:
1. Modify the name of the technology to be consistent with other Codex texts
2. Put “different approaches” into a footnote
It is my preference to put this entire text into square brackets unless on reflection, delegations are in a position to seek a compromise at this point.
EU: I must admit that we have exactly the same definition of a consensus that you do. Argentina proposed a footnote while most delegations approved the text. What is on the screen is unacceptable to us.
Chair: There are two proposals before you: the chair’s proposal and a footnote.
At this stage, there was a legitimate proposal that had the support of some delegations placed before you.
Canada: We recognize the will of the countries and you, Mr. Chair, to find a compromise but we agree that perhaps this should be left in square brackets. Maybe a compromise will be found after lunch.
Switzerland: I think we have to go back to the Chair’s proposal.
Ghana: I am not sure I remember what the Chair’s proposal was. I want to put forward Ghana’s proposal that we do not delete the second sentence.
Chair: Canada, I admire your positive attitude although I doubt that it will be so easy. I note that suggestion of Canada and Ghana: the Chair is certainly willing to make himself available to find a compromise. I will give up some of my time.
Argentina: We really feel that the proposal we made should be taken into consideration. We do not agree that it was only 2 delegations particularly because a number of other delegations supported us. We should maintain practically the same text, but that it should go to a footnote.
We should recognize that those countries that have GM/GE standards by the footnote, but not in Codex! There we are supposed to adopt a harmonized framework. The different standards are the jurisdiction of WTO, not Codex.
Chair: I do sense that delegations are willing to try to find a compromise, although there continue to be fundamental differences, I restate my willingness to facilitate a small discussion to find a compromise.
Rather than continuing to debate at this stage, I propose that we break and those delegations which would like to contribute their expertise to exploring a potential solution in a more informal setting would join me over the lunch break.
When we reconvene, we would share the fruit of this effort with the plenary.
Austria: We are against the proposal [that removes national authority for different labeling standards and states that GM/GE foods are the same as non GM/GE ones], but not against your proposal.
Kenya: Apparently we came too close to a consensus. The Chair’s proposal was not 100% good for us. We have been taken aback with this but we can live with this discussion now that we can discuss it.
We were very close to a consensus and we saw that at the request of a few delegations, your proposal was changed. We did not see the interest of having in this text that these products were not different from the others. You can manipulate anything you want, but your proposal could have pleased most people. [Emphasis added]
Italy: Argentina wanted the same text and you proposed something very different? So why has the secretariat changed Argentina’s text by putting in something very different and why have we dropped the Chairman’s text? [Emphasis added]
Argentina indicated that it wanted the same words and yet we have a different text which is not acceptable, at least as a foot note since everything else could be a foot note.
US: We appreciate that what is on the screen is the result of several countries trying to compromise. We like the idea of your trying to help over the lunch break, and we wonder if you will have translation available.
Chair: In fairness to our interpretation team, we will not be able to provide interpretation in terms of this ad hoc session [meaning that only English-speaking delegates will be able to participate in the closed-door session – REL]. I recognize that this has limitations but be assured that any output will be considered in plenary with full interpretation.
Singapore: We can support your idea of having an informal group. A footnote should be explored in the interests of finding a compromise.
Argentina: We are willing to work in this ad hoc working group but it will be in a difficult circumstance and the same would occur for other Latin American groups. We could continue this discussion here after lunch with interpretation.
Mexico: I would like to support what Argentina has just said is a concern shared by Mexico and we would like to have discussion amongst ourselves
Observer Organization: It is difficult to consider Argentina’s proposal because of its ambiguities so we do not know what we are discussing. The dependent clause at the end of the last sentence makes it impossible to understand what the issue is.
Chair: We will now break for lunch, those who wish to participate in informal discussion, be there at 12:15.
We will reconvene at 1:45 PM
Chair: This is the Chair’s suggestion: This is the best I can do with the input of many:
Acknowledging that different approaches regarding labeling of foods derived from modern biotechnology are available, the purpose of this document is only to recall and assemble in a single document some important elements of guidance e from existing Codex texts which are relevant for the labeling of foods derived from modern biotechnology. This text is not intended to suggest or imply that foods derived from modern biotechnology are necessarily different from other foods imply due to their method of production.
The Chair suggests all of this text remains in square brackets so that the entire chapeau is available for country comments at Step 3 with the intention of at our next session we would aim to finalize text to be transmitted to the commission. [Note that the document has not been discussed during the afternoon session and that somehow it has gone back to an earlier step than was proposed before the lunch break. The strong consensus of the delegates has been totally ignored and redirected toward what they did not agree with –REL]
Brazil: We would prefer that it should remain as before [lunch]. We are not so much in agreement with the drafting and we would rather have the previous text maintained in square brackets [at a higher step, and therefore closer to adoption – REL] to the next meeting.
Canada: we would suggest that there is only one world which is problematic: it should say this document is not intended to suggest or imply that there is any difference.
Chair: We can do that.
Argentina: we would like to thank your laudable efforts during the lunch period. We would support your proposal that this text be maintained at Step 3. We only have one comment: we would rather prefer that we speak of the existence of different approximations and the word “are available” should be replaced with “exist”
EU: We thank you for your efforts but the text you have before us is not entirely satisfactory: food labeling is the main means of communication between the manufacturer and the consumer. This could be reintroduced since it was in the original chapeau.
And we cannot accept “exist” replacing the words “are available”.
That little piece of a sentence in the chapeau modified by Brazil should be replaced in to text.
Consumers International: Thank you Mr. Chairman, but we have problems with this text and we support proposal from Brazil that we would prefer the previous Chair’s text and that that be circulated for comment.
US: We appreciate the efforts and the comment that your entire chapeau is in , we would be willing to have this text circulated.
Observer Organization: We appreciate your heroic efforts, but we support what Brazil said and circulating that for comments. This new text is nothing other than a slightly rehashed version of Chapeau 2 as submitted by the US and is not at all what Brazil has submitted.
ICGMA: we would support the US proposition that what is up on the screen be moved forward so it can be circulated for further discussion.
Crop Life international: we support the position of US and ICGMA to keep this text and circulate it.
Singapore: We applaud your efforts: we would support the remarks of Argentina that we substitute “are available” with “exist”.
Chair: I suggest that we take both texts in square brackets and circulate it for comments with a specific request and that we invite delegations to comment but we ask as well that delegations provide a very clear rationale with respect to their objectives in the proposals that they present so that we can focus our attempts in terms of bridging differences on the objectives that delegations have through this text because it is my interpretation that if we only have the text, without the understanding of their objectives, we cannot find options that bridge the objectives and, as result, created the potential for progress.
I would suggest that we take any opportunity to discuss this with other delegations if possible. We may have a facilitated session like the session that we had at lunch, with potentially the capacity to work in multiple languages in order to find a way forward.
I think we can create the atmosphere for the potential to achieve those compromises.
EU: Thank you Chairman. Perhaps facilitation between CCFL, we are willing to offer Brussels with 3-language interpretation in English, French and Spanish.
Chair: We are happy to take up the offer and will make that happen. Ghana: I do not feel comfortable to offer Ghana as a facilitator but Ghana will be happy to work jointly with the EU. If Ghana is willing to chair the session, that would free me to work as facilitator rather than taking up chair responsibilities.
EU: So we are quite agreeable to accepting that you will be the facilitator and that Ghana will chair the session in Brussels.
US: We are interesting in knowing and understanding what can be on the table during the facilitated discussion. We note that there was progress during lunch but there is the possibility that we may really not have achieved consensus, as was obvious through the discussion in the plenary.
Argentina: Seeing another text that the Secretariat got out of his computer, we had already made a proposal for a footnote. If you are going to consider all options, we would like the footnote considered.
Austria: please note that we cannot accept the change to “modern biotechnology” and prefer “GM/GE” instead.
Mexico: We participated in the lunch time session. We would like to ask that your first proposal be presented with the amendments which included the foot note suggested by Argentina, and that it is important to have clarity and for transparency, we make sure that all proposals are clear.
Chair: We will then conclude that we will recirculate the document at Step 3, invite delegations to be very clear to tell us that the objectives are that they want to accomplish, we note the offer of EU to hold a session in Brussels and note the kind offer of Ghana to chair that session.
That concludes agenda item 6.